Carrie's Adventures

Saturday, September 17, 2005

One last time in Stockholm

So on my final cruise I made a plea to the Shore Excursion manager to let me go on the tour to the Ice Bar. Generally it is booked which means we don't get the opportunity to go, however Luc smiled upon me and signed me up as an Escort ~ Bonus being that I didn't need to pay to go!!

I realized during this tour that I should have taken more opportunities to go out on these tours as a) they were quite enlightening with local facts, b) you get a greater sense of actually seeing the place and finally c) you could escape, if even for a couple of hours the cloak of working on the ship and pretend that you were cruising.

Our guide was awesome...

We first toured the old town. I had been here before and figured I would be putting in time until we got to the Ice Bar, but as it turns out, I learned a lot and was amazed at what I didn't know about the city. First off, many parts of the old town is actually built on garbage. This is causing issues as the garbage is starting to sink and the buildings are shifting. It is noticable in some areas where the buildings are actually leaning. I also learned that in the winter when it is bitterly cold, to avoid freezing to be nosy and find out who is making the noise, they could just observe out the window peering into the mirror and check out the neighbourhood...

There as a cute little statue which was located in one of the squares. It 'apparently' is suppose to bring you back to Stockholm should you rub his wee little head. I am thinking, you have more control over that than the wee statue, but he was still cute!

The other interesting point was that there were a number of homes that had an icon above the door. This icon represented all of the homes that had purchased Fire insurance. This was important for if there was a fire, the Firemen would ONLY save those houses that had purchased this insurance. If your home was on fire and you hadn't purchased this insurance and your neighbour had, the fire fighters would stand at the home with the insurance and wait until the fire got there and then start to fight... Amazing.

So once our tour concluded and I had also been presented with the Nobel museum ~ apparently the Nobel prizes are given out in Stockholm, I had an opportunity to spend some money for 20 minutes. I made the most of it and bought 2 ceramic pieces which are gorgeous and after getting the Visa bill, apparently expensive!

We then gathered on the bus and headed to the Ice Bar. We arrived to find that it was WAY smaller than I thought it would be. The capacity is 30 people and is sponsored completely by Absolute ~ so here's hoping you like Vodka!

The inside is completely furnished with Ice. The average amount of time a person spends in the Ice Bar is 30 minutes. Guess the cold is a bit too much. Go figure, myself and a couple from Calgary were the last ones to leave... In fact they took this picture ~ do you think they may have had one too many?!?

As mentioned the bar is sponsored by Absolute ~ hence the menu, only Vodka products...

The bar itself has everything you could find in any other bar other than chairs. The staff only work for 20 minutes before switching out with other staff members. The glasses were of ice and were situated at the end of the bar. Your lips, while they didn't freeze to the glass, would get a bit stuck. All in all, a very cool experience... I'm glad I went. I learned a lot!

And of course you knew that I would be wearing the sandals... Thanks Luc! I had a great time!


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